Re: another not-April Fool's-post...
Mon, 29 Mar 1999 00:33:15 EST

In a message dated 3/28/99 9:05:07 PM, you wrote:

> According to Benveniste, if the
> cause of such biochemical events were simply due to
> random collisions between adrenalin molecules and
> their receptors (the currently accepted theory of
> molecular signalling), then it should take longer than
> it does to get angry.

Well, he certainly doesn't know much about neurobiology. We get angry via synaptic transmissions, which happen in a small number of milliseconds, just as predicted by physics.

Whole-body hormonal adrenal events are predicted to require up to several minutes and that turns out to be correct too.

> Nature's attempted debunking exercise failed to find
> evidence of fraud, but concluded that Benveniste's
> research was essentially unreproducible, a claim he
> has always denied.

"Failed to find evidence of fraud" is an *extremely* charitable way of putting it. Randi switched some of the bottles without telling Beneviste. The bottles that *had* been treated - but that Beneviste thought hadn't - showed no reaction. The bottles that *had not* been treated - but that Beneviste thought had - had a reaction! Clearly the effect was quite bogus, and that's certainly evidence for fraud. Fraud wasn't *proved*, because Beneviste could be a wishful incompetent.

So now somebody whose experiments are, intentionally or unintentionally, fudged, has found a new implausible effect which solves a "problem" which actually doesn't exist. Pardon me if I'm not impressed.